King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Chronicles 21

The wicked reign of Jehoram. (1-11) Jehoram’s miserable end. (12-20)

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The wicked reign of Jehoram

1 Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.

2 And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.

3 And their father gave them great gifts of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fenced cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram; because he was the firstborn.

4 Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel.

5 Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.

6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.

7 Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.

8 In his days the Edomites revolted from under the dominion of Judah, and made themselves a king.

9 Then Jehoram went forth with his princes, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him in, and the captains of the chariots.

10 So the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also did Libnah revolt from under his hand; because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers.

11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.

Jehoram’s miserable end

12 And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,

13 But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself:

14 Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:

15 And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.

16 Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians:

17 And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king’s house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.

18 And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.

19 And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.

20 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Azarias. The only difference between this and the former name is, that the younger brother’s (H.) has u at the end, (C.) Azrieu. Prot. and Sept. make no difference, which we should nevertheless expect. H. — Juda. Heb. “Israel.” Sept. Syr. &c. agree with the Vulg. editions, though most of the ancient Latin MSS. have Israel. Josephat ruled over the principal tribes. Yet it seems probable, from the versions, that the Heb. formerly read Juda.

Ver. 3. Pensions. Heb. “precious things.” Sept. “arms.”

Ver. 4. Sword. This cruel policy (H.) has been very common in the East. C. — Israel. They had perhaps opposed his impious plans, animated by his brethren. God presently chastised him with the rebellion of Idumea; and though Joram gained a victory over Seir, (4 K. viii. 21.) he was not able to reduce the nation, being called off by other wars, v. 16. His own subjects at Lobna, a Levitical city in Juda, also abandoned him. Dreadful evils were denounced in a letter from the prophet Elias, who had been translated to paradise nine years before, and at last the honours of sepulture were denied to the wicked king. T.

Ver. 6. Achab. It is supposed by Jezabel. She might be grand-daughter of Amri. C. xxii. 2. The infamous Athalia is blamed for most of the evils which her husband committed.

Ver. 7. Lamp; heir and successor. C. Ps. cxxxi. 17.

Ver. 10. Day, when the author lived. See 4 K. viii. 20.

Ver. 11. Fornication; idolatry. M. — Heb. “and compelled Juda.” Sept. “seduced.” Syr. “dissipated Juda.” C. — He used every art of seduction and violence to introduce idolatry, to the ruin of his kingdom. H.

Ver. 12. Elias. Le Clerc would read Eliseus. Grotius supposes that all passed in a dream. Others think that Elias had written the letter before his removal from the conversation of men, some years before, foreseeing the impiety of Joram, and leaving the letter with Eliseus, to be delivered unto him. M. Jun. — But the most common opinion is, that the prophet wrote it in paradise, (C.) and sent it to the king by an angel, &c. Seder. xvii. Bellarm. T. — Elias had been taken away in the 18th year of Josaphat, who reigned 25; so he shewed this special care of Joram and his kingdom, so many years after his assumption. W. — Thus the saints in heaven interest themselves in our defence. 2 Mac. xv. 11. H. — Prophet. Heb. “And there came in him a writing of,” &c. C.

Ver. 14. Thee is not expressed in Heb. but it is in the Sept. and the king was not only afflicted with illness, but with the losses of his people and family. H.

Ver. 15. By little. Heb. “by reason of the sickness, (H.) day by day,” or in two years time, v. 19. C. — He was probably ill so long. H. — Agrippa and Antiochus were treated in the same manner, (C.) with a diarrhœa, (M.) or dysentery, (C.) the vitals being corrupted. Valesius 40.

Ver. 16. Philistines; who, it seems, had been obedient since the days of David. — Ethiopians, who lay west of the Arabians, from the Red Sea to the lower Egypt and the Nile, (C.) bordering on Madian. There was another Ethiopia to the south of Egypt. M.

Ver. 17. Joachaz, alias Ochozias, (Ch.) or Azarias, in Heb. C. xxii. 1. and 6. C. — The variation of names seems to originate in the mistakes of transcribers, very frequently. If we found in some profane author, that Philip had only one son, Ander-alex, left, and that this son, Alex-ander, succeeded him, we should readily allow that the first syllables had been erroneously placed last, (Kennic.) as on this occasion aéz-ieu stands for ieu-aéz. Sept. has here Ochozias; as the other versions have also Ochozias, (C. xxii. 6.) instead of Azrieu, (H.) a name given to Ozias, king of Juda, when it belonged to the priests, as it here belongs to one of the captains. C. xxiii. 1. Sometimes we find Aézie. 4 K. ix. 16. Strange inconsistency! Kennicott. See 4 K. xiv. 21.

Ver. 19. And. Prot. “And it came to pass that, in the process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out, by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases: And his people made no burning for him,” &c. (H.) not that the body was usually consumed, but no aromatical spices were burned near it, (Sanctius. T.) as in the funeral of Asa. C. xvi. 14. C. — The point is controverted. M.

Ver. 20. Rightly. Sept. “unpraised.” Heb. “without any satisfaction;” or, “he departed unregretted,” oppressed with illness, and odious to all. — Kings. Joas, Achaz, Achab, and Manasses, were disgraced in like manner, after their death. The Hebrews then shewed their resentment, without fear. The like custom prevailed in Egypt, and kept many within bounds. No person could receive the usual honours of burial, if his accusers could maintain their charge against his character before a court of above forty people, assembled for the purpose. Calumny was severely punished. But the kings themselves were to stand their trial, while their corpse was placed in the porch of the monument, and the priest spoke their funeral oration. The people testified their approbation or discontent, “and many of the kings have been deprived of a glorious and legal burial, on account of the opposition of the multitude.” Diod. i. and ii. C.